Add outfield coach Dave Clark to list of Tigers' managerial candidates
Detroit — It turns out that before the Tigers flew home from Kansas City after concluding the 2020 season, general manager Al Avila interviewed two coaches from Ron Gardenhire’s staff for the manager vacancy – interim manager Lloyd McClendon, which has been reported, and outfield coach Dave Clark, which until now had not been reported.
Clark, like McClendon, meets many of the prerequisites Avila set for the job. He’s managed and won championships in the minor leagues in both the Pirates and Astros systems. He managed in the Dominican Winter League and was the interim manager of the Astros for 13 games in 2009.
The Astros ended up hiring Brad Mills over Clark the next year, but Clark stayed on staff until he was hired onto Brad Ausmus’ staff in Detroit in 2014. Clark was among the candidates Avila interviewed in 2018 before hiring Gardenhire.
Counting his 22-year playing career, 13 in the major leagues with seven different teams, the 58-year-old Clark has been in professional baseball for 37 years. His big-league coaching resume includes hitting coach, outfield coach, base running coach and he’s coached both first and third base.
He's coached two Gold Glove outfielders — Michael Bourn, who won two Gold Gloves (2009, 2010), and Yoenis Cespedes (2015). In addition, J.D. Martinez had his best defensive seasons under Clark's watch.
He is also well-versed in applying analytics, both from his time in Houston and in Detroit. He orchestrated the Tigers’ defensive shifts in the outfield the last two seasons.
Clark joins a large list of candidates for the Tigers’ job. The current list is over 14, with interviews expected with A.J. Hinch and Alex Cora soon.
Besides McClendon and Clark, other candidates that have been reported include Yankees hitting coach Marcus Thames, Royals bench coach Pedro Grifol, Cubs third-base coach Will Venable, Pirates bench coach Don Kelly, Orioles bench coach Fredi Gonzalez and Dodgers first-base coach George Lombard, Athletics quality control coach Mark Kotsay, Braves coach Sal Fasano, Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza and Yankees third-base coach Phil Nevin.